Statewide Arts Convening


If you were unable to participate in the Statewide Arts Convening, you can view the sessions online.

To access the sessions, click on the links below:


Image says NDCA Statewide Arts Convening part of Main Street Summit 2020

NDCA, in collaboration with the Main Street ND Summit 2020, will host its biennial Statewide Arts Convening on Tuesday, October 6, and Wednesday, October 7 online. The Convening will feature programs focused on Building Resilient Communities.

NDCA Statewide Arts Convening speakers include Stephen A. Goldsmith, an artist, recent executive director of the Center for the Living City, and founder of Artspace Utah,; and Jay Salinas, an artist, farmer and co-founder Wormfarm Institute,

Online passes are available at

Other arts participants include:

  • Mindi Schmitz, Jamestown Arts Center
  • Laurel Reuter, North Dakota Museum of Art
  • Karen Ehrens, Health, Nutrition & Policy Consultant & Advocate
  • Dawn Mandt, Red River Regional Council
  • Thomas Nash, New Town City Councilman
  • William Panos, ND Department of Transportation Director
  • Virtual Performers: Jessie Veeder and Chuck Suchy
  • Visual Art Tutorial: Painter Nicole Gagner
  • More to come!!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

8:00am-5:00pm - Full day of activities focused on Community Resiliency. NDCA has two keynote speakers for this event, and a host of other creative activities

11am-11:45am - "Arts Partnerships Build Resilient Communities" with Kim Konikow, NDCA Executive Director and other participants

1-1:45pm - Keynote, "Building a “Cultureshed”" with Jay Salinas

2-2:45pm - "Linking Rural and Urban Communities for Vitality, Resilience and Prosperity" with Jay Salinas and Kareh Ehrens, Health and Nutrition Consultant

3-3:45pm - Keynote, "The Fine Art of Adapting: Reclaiming What Matters" with Stephen Goldsmith

Wednesday, October 7

8:30am-12pm - Half-day of activities focused on Community Resiliency

11:20am-12pm - "Cultivating the Creative Response" with Stephen Goldsmith

Session Descriptions

Session Descriptions
Arts Partnerships Build Resilient Communities

There is no doubt that the arts provided important continuity for many over the last few months and remain at the heart of all we do. Recent examples of successful partnerships from across ND will be shared, demonstrating arts partnerships create stronger bonds and continuing opportunities for community growth. Moderated by Kim Konikow, Executive Director of North Dakota Council on the Arts, with guest participants Dawn Mandt, Red River Regional Council; Thomas Nash, New Town City Councilman; and William Panos, ND Department of Transportation Director.

Building a “Cultureshed”


1. A geographic region irrigated by streams of local talent and fed by deep pools of human and natural history.

2. An area nourished by what is cultivated locally.

3. The efforts of writers, performers, visual artists, scholars, farmers and chefs who contribute to a vital and diverse local culture.

Wormfarm’s programs have taken many forms for the past 20 years, from a farm-based artist residency to large scale annual festival. Committed to a healthy polyculture Wormfarm considers the vital connections across and between rural and urban, people and land, culture and agriculture.

Cultivating the Creative Response

The power of observation, combined with our well-tuned empathy muscles can inspire creative responses among people who care about the places where they live. Stephen Goldsmith will share case studies from across the globe and offer some useful tools for building the empathy muscle. He will also discuss opportunities for North Dakota youth to participate in a global project that builds solidarity among the world's next generation of citizens and our future leaders.

Linking Rural and Urban Communities for Vitality, Resilience and Prosperity

Building bridges across a perceived or an actual divide

Rural/ Urban Flow is a way to think about and realize a healthy regional ecosystem that values cultural differences, interconnectedness, and shared humanity – one that acknowledges both upstream influences and downstream effects. A vibrant and resilient region considers both its essential rural and urban parts. The Flow looks beyond neighborhoods and news feeds to cultivate common ground. Jay Salinas joined by Kareh Ehrens. For more on Karen visit

The Fine Art of Adapting: Reclaiming What Matters

Stephen Goldsmith will present examples of the ways RESILIENCY is part of our evolutionary impulse to create. Whether in the reuse of buildings, putting reclaimed materials and places to new use, or public art projects that adapt and restore natural systems to create community space. He will conclude with the economic development opportunities that come from reclaiming the disappearing dark, and the unique prospects that exist in North Dakota for astro-tourism. Goldsmith will provide examples of the complex intersections of social, environmental, and economic opportunities that can happen when we celebrate our skills to adapt to changing dynamics, reclaiming our connections to the things that matter most. 

Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios
Stephen Goldsmith

Photo of Stephen Goldsmith

Stephen Goldsmith is an artist and founder of Artspace Utah, a non-profit organization developing affordable living and workspace for artists and other creators, including incubator spaces for other non-profit agencies and start-up businesses. He has also served as the executive director of the Center for the Living City, a non-profit organization that inspires civic engagement and leadership, and invites creative solutions to community challenges. Stephen's work as an artist has crossed into multiple disciplines, including his role as planning director in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. As the first artist/planner in a major U.S. city, his work included creating an international symposium on "The Physical Fitness of Cities: Vision and Ethics in City Building". In his work to establish collaborations across disciplines, his work as an associate professor at the University of Utah led him to establish the country's first undergraduate degree program in Urban Ecology, and the first interdisciplinary program in Dark Sky Studies.

For more information visit

Jay Salinas

Photo of Jay Salinas

Jay Salinas, an artist, farmer and co-founder Wormfarm Institute. In 1995, together with his partner Donna Neuwirth, they started a CSA based in Wisconsin. In 2000 they formed the Wormfarm Institute, an award-winning nonprofit whose mission is to integrate culture and agriculture. Wormfarm creates community cultural events like the nationally recognized Fermentation Fest & Farm/Art DTour. Wormfarm also works to build regional networks through the Rural Urban Flow initiative and hosts an Artist Residency on a working farm.

Jay has worked to support the development of sustainable agriculture in urban and rural communities across the nation working with both Growing Power in Milwaukee and the Farley Center Gaining Ground project in Madison.

Trained as a sculptor, Jay has developed and implemented innovative and successful art curricula for both at-risk youth and at the university level. He has also taught sustainable farming techniques to farmers across the nation and continues to work with growers with diverse backgrounds and abilities to build sustainable food systems. Born in and raised near Chicago, Jay holds a BFA & MFA in Sculpture.

For more information visit